Despite their unpopularity among drivers, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) says red-light cameras DO save lives. According to a recent study by the IIHS, traffic deaths resulting from crashes caused by a driver running a red light increase by almost one-third when the cameras are turned off.
Many cities continue to install cameras at intersections with traffic signals. At the same time, 158 communities (r more) have turned off their cameras in the last five years.
Findings of the Study
In this recent study, annual crash rate trends in 14 cities that turned off their cameras were compared with 29 cities that continued to use their cameras. Researchers discovered that, after making adjustments for other factors affecting the number of crashes and their severity, crashes that resulted from someone running a red light increased some 30 percent.
The second part of the study analyzed fatal red-light crashes in 57 cities with camera programs compared to 33 cities that have not yet introduced red-light cameras. In this part of the study, researchers found that the rate of fatal crashes of this kind was 21 percent lower in the cities using the cameras. The rate of all types of wrecks at intersections with traffic signals was 14 percent lower if cameras were active.
Why It Matters
Many cities that have discontinued use of red-light cameras. They have done this because citizens have complained that the cameras were installed primarily to increase revenue through these tickets. The IIHS study, however, proves the safety value of the cameras.
The most common type of collision occurring when a driver runs a red light is a powerful side-impact crash. This type of crash typically causes serious injuries or death. Other previous studies have demonstrated an increase of rear-end crashes that result from a driver speeding up to get through the intersection on the yellow light and hitting the car in front of them. It has been pointed out that these wrecks are typically less severe and cause fewer fatalities
In state after state, efforts to end the use of red-light cameras have found their way into the courts and into state legislatures. Definitive rulings have not yet been handed down in many states. While some communities are lamenting the lost revenue, drivers appear to be happy to see the cameras turned off. With the findings of this IIHS study, it will be interesting to see whether communities are willing to pay fines and drive more carefully to save lives.
Call Altizer Law, P.C.
At Altizer Law, P.C., we believe that lives matter. If you or a loved one are injured in a wreck caused by a driver running a red light (with or without a red-light camera), or in any kind of vehicular collision through no fault of your own, call us. You will be treated with compassion, and we will fight relentlessly for justice and for the maximum compensation due you or your loved one.